Thursday, September 28, 2006

After the Clouds...Sunshine

That's what I'm hoping anyway. Typically we have an Indian Summer in October, so even though it's gray and gloomy now, today, there is still a chance that summer is not over just yet. These lovely Adirondack chairs are tempting even under the cloudy sky, though, aren't they?
We have a three-day weekend coming up - no school on Monday AND today is pay day. Whooooooo-hooo.
Saturday night - It's "Sweet Charity" starring the pretty girl in pink - Molly Ringwald. The musical is NOT getting swell reviews but I love the music so I think I'll have a good time regardless. Hey, big spender...
My friend Caroline and I are going on our annual outlet shopping trip. We do it every year on the weekend after the first payday. We spend the whole day grabbing at bargains. We start out with a hearty diner breakfast, you know for energy, and then fueled by hashbrowns and sausages, maybe some pancakes, we head on down the road to Gilroy's fantastic outlet mall.

When will I have time for crafts? Good question. My swap box is going out on Tuesday. I started a tea cozy that got shelved for Pink and Brown so that's where I'll start back to crafting- there is so much to do before Christmas. I want to work on some felt flowers and a couple of crochet tidbits. Lucky thing the weekend is long. Holy Reindeer. I better get busy.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Morning Glorious

Back in the day I used to work in a restaurant called St. Michael's Alley. It was started in the late fifties and when I was a kid in high school it was a dark and delightfully daring place. The Grateful Dead hung out there and Ken Kesey and Neal Cassidy were apparently close personal friends of the owner. I worked at the restaurant in the 80's on and off for about 10 years. It was a great place - everyone who worked there was creative in one way or another. There was a restaurant that served wholesome, yet luscious fare and next door there was The Waiting Room that was a coffee bar in the morning and afternoon and a wine bar with live entertainment in the evening. One of the most popular items in the Waiting Room was the Morning Glory Muffins. They were made with whole wheat and bran, raisins and coconut, walnuts and whatever whipped cream was leftover from dinner in the restaurant the night before. These Morning Glories on our fence in the back yard are contentious because they grow up through the trees, in the cracks of the fence and into the herb garden below. But they are so lovely and they remind of the time I spent working and hanging out at St. Michael's Alley, being part of the history of this area really.

Queenie's Kitchen
This is how I spent my evening, making treats for a meeting today. The chocolate stuff is brownies. I used a very old recipe that has served me well for a long time and I had a couple of bananas that begged to jump in the mix so there they are - smushed in with the brownie batter, making the whole pan moist and rich. The bread is a Rosemary Bread recipe I got from a "Nigella" cookbook. It is full of butter (1/2 pound) and has apple and rosemary for flavor and body. Considering that there are only scraps left on the platter after the meeting. I'd say they were a success.
The other task I managed to get done last night - I got all my Pink and Brown Swap goodies packed up and ready for shipment to the other side of the map. I can't wait to see how she likes everything.

Opal Finds a Home
story will continue, I promise

The Tail of Opal

The Tale of Opal the Cat
This story begins once upon a time in the Golden Land near the sea. A tiny white kitten alone in the world, abandoned by her mother wandered through the alleys of the town. She poked into garbage bins and ate whatever scraps she could find. Day in and day out Opal was watched by the girl in the apartment near by. This girl, a healer-in-training, could not help Opal because the healer already had a houseful of cats and , there wasn't room for one single animal more, so she kept her eye on the curious little creature from afar.
Dirty lanes and rubbish containers are no place for little kittens and before long Opal got sick. The healer-in-training couldn't take the itty bitty thing into her home, but she also couldn't let such a sad baby animal fend for herself any longer. The healer decided to take Opal to the princess who aften worked in the clinic where the healer was learning her trade. The princess was known throughout the land for her kindness to animals of all kinds and for healing powers of her own. She was beautiful and generous and the healer-in-training knew that the princess would find a home for Opal.

Come back tomorrow for another chapter about Opal.

I am chomping at the bit to show you all some pictures of the loot I've come up with for the Pink and Brown Swap. I'll wait, however, until I send it off and it is received in a land far away. That will be very soon. Stay tuned

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pink and Brown

Pink and Brown Lady Waiting
These flowers stand along the roads in Northern California, row upon row of stately pink flowers, no leaves to speak of, bending close as cars whoosh by.
Great weekend!!! On Saturday I finished up most of my little projects for the Pink and Brown Swap. What fun to see them all together. Pink and Brown together make me think of chocolate boxes, luxurious, velvety and irresistible. I am having such a terrific time gathering and fashioning all the bits and bobs that will finally be lovingly wrapped and put in a carton and sent off to my swap buddy. Good times!!
Sunday dinner was scrumptious - one of those meals where everything comes out just as you hoped. We had pear- rosemary martinis, brie with a warm pear, rosemary honey and balsamic vinegar topping. For the main course I briased short ribs and served them up with roasted potatoes, mushy peas with mint and an arugula salad with dates, oranges, and toasted almonds and for dessert... warm chocolate-chili pudding cake with clouds of whipped cream. Lordy, it's a good thing we only eat like that on Sundays. When I get a little more organized, maybe I'll add recipes. Nothing I make is too terribly difficult to make.
So Monday dawns and I stand like those pink Ladies Waiting along this week's stretch of road.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Learning to Blog

I get so involved in reading everyone else's blog that I forget I'm supposed to be writing one of my own.
Fall is trying to wheedle its way into the California summer. The mornings aretingedwith a coolness that teases us into pulling down sweaters from thetop shelves where they've been stored for months. But then end up on theback of our deskchairs at work . This is the season that earns Californiathe reputation fora different climate every five minutes. Yep, it's chillyin the morning, then the sweaters and jackets come off in the full blast of 85 degrees around lunchtime. The heat slowly burns off so that by the time bedtime rolls around, you're ready to curl up under your blankie to stay toasty through the night.
The weather plays havoc on your fashion choices. Heck, you have to change clothes several times each day or wear LAYERS. It's hard to look cute in layers. Who has enough clothes to wear layers everyday and still match? And , goodness knows, I've always got to match.
The weather does push me to get on withmy cold-weather crafts, however. I'm repurposing wool sweaters into tea cozies,winter hats and scarves and cute little brooches.I promise to get picturesup next week. I'm still working on the technology of blogging.